This is somewhat a groundbreaking week when it comes to women and technology. This morning, I participated in Women Who Tech, a telesummit for women in technology. I served on a panel titled, Tooting Your Own Horn, with Megan Fitzgerald of Career By Choice, and Angie Chang of Women2.org. Podcasts and slideshows from the panel will be available at a later date, but there was an amazing amount of women in the room asking questions about how to build your brand both online and offline.
Fitzgerald's information was invaluable, she offers a tool called the Online Identity Calcualator, which helps you to determine your online identity score based on what Google tells you about yourself. If you're aiming for a certain career and a higher career level, then your score should be a 10, otherwise you have some work to do.
Because my score is a 10, I served as an example, during the panel, of how best to build your brand online. Some of the pointers I shared included:
Your name = Your brand - register your domain name as your own name, or the closest thing to your name. If you have a common name and it's already taken, add a dash, or your middle initial, or your professional degree.
SEO your brand - use search engine optimization techniques to make sure your name/your brand comes up in google searches when people are look for you. Link to yourself from social networking sites where you can list your bio, like this site.
Your voice = Your brand - let your voice speak for you. Leave relevant comments on the blogs and online media sites that are most relevant to the topics that are affiliated with your brand. Write a blog, or signup to speak at conferences.
Keep it real - stay on brand. Make sure your message is focused in clear. You can contribute to many sites, but each site should reflect the brand you want to be.
Build community - use your own site, or any number of social networking sites to build community for your brand. But keep it real. Don't be a poser. Be a real participant and don't signup just to talk about yourself. People will respect you for the quality of your ideas.
Monitor your brand - set up Google alerts for yourself and your doman, and claim your site on technorati. This way you can monitor when you're being writtin about online. You can also go back and interact with the people who are writing about you.
If you've visited the WWT site, then you've seen that a lot of women in technology were involved. It was a major event that was sold out. And the event isn't over, tonight there will be after parties in NYC, D.C., and San Francisco. I plan to attend the New York event.
But WWT won't end my women and tech week. On Thursday and Friday, I'll attend BlogHer Business, that will focus on stripping away the hype and hyperbole and getting to the heart of what will make social media work for your organization. Stay tuned for reports from BlogHer.